Pflaumenkuchen

Every year there seem to be "new" discoveries to make at the farmers market. Some fruit or vegetable that I just never really noticed before seems to jump out at me and I start seeing it everywhere, and see recipes all over the internet that I probably would have just skipped over before. This year I "discovered" Italian Prune Plums. They are a small, egg shaped, dark purple/almost black plum that is nice enough raw, really shines when baked. Hence this recipe. I bought a small basket a few weeks ago and ate them raw in yogurt with granola. Nice, but certainly not something to write home about. But then I saw the recipe for this yeasted breakfast cake. The description of the plums baking up into a "sweet-tart, floral, rich, and grapey" when cooked left my mouth watering. I was hooked. 

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This cake was a simple yeasted dough that was mildly sweet with just a little richness from butter and an egg. The perfect compliment to the juicey and tart plums that really did bake up into a deliciously jammy topping. Covered in a good handful of cinnamon sugar it really was the perfect late summer breakfast treat. Paired with a steaming cup of coffee you will not go wrong. 

 
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Pflaumenkuchen (Yeasted Plum Cake) 
Adapted from Sweet Amandine, originally from My Berlin Kitchen, by Luisa Weiss
Ingredients
For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • Grated zest of half a lemon (optional, I didn't have one but I know it would be great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 tablespoons (3-4 ounces) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 egg 

For the fruit and topping:

  • 1ΒΌ pounds Italian prune plums
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan or cake pan.   

Make the dough:  
Put the milk and the 3 tablespoons butter into a small saucepan and heat over the lowest possible flame, swirling occasionally, until the butter has just melted.  Add the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool until lukewarm.  Meanwhile, blend the dry ingredients - the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, yeast, lemon zest, and salt - in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg with the lukewarm milk and butter.  Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a loose dough.  Knead on medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until a smooth dough forms.  If your dough is sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour, only as much as you need to keep it manageable.  Form the dough into a ball, place it in the buttered pan, cover with a towel, and let it rise until it's doubled in bulk, anywhere from one to two and a half hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Prepare the fruit and topping:
While the dough rises, heat the oven to 350 degrees, and pit and quarter the prune plums.  Stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and leave to cool.         

When the dough is ready, deflate it with your fingertips.  Push it down evenly along the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides.  Gently press the quartered plums into the dough at a 45-degree angle, making concentric circles.  (Start at the edge and work your way toward the middle.)  If you have extra plums on your cutting board once you've arranged your circles, squeeze them in somewhere.  The more plums, the better.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, spoon the melted butter over top, and set aside, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Bake for 40-45 minutes (the original recipe called for 30-40 minutes, but mine was definitely not done at 30 minutes, and was questionable at 40; I'd start checking at 30 just in case your oven runs a little hotter than mine, but it may take 45 + minutes so use your best judgement), until the crust is brown and the plums are bubbling.  Cool until the fruit is no longer hot.  

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are my idea of the perfect breakfast. I don't know how I've been blogging for this long without posting a cinnamon roll recipe, but I'm going to change that today. I absolutely love cinnamon rolls; tender sweet dough swirled with spicy cinnamon and rich brown sugar. Top with  a simple powdered sugar glaze, a rich and buttery cream cheese frosting, or even a gooey combination of butter and brown sugar, they are all so good. 

This time of year I'm always drawn to pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I love the beautiful golden color that pumpkin gives to the dough, along with lots of moisture to keep the dough tender and not at all dry. Adding some of the spices directly to the dough really amps up the flavor and makes the finished product just that much more delicious. These rolls are simple, tender and delicious, not to mention beautiful. A perfect early winter breakfast for a lazy weekend morning or a wonderful addition to any Christmas brunch spread. 

These cinnamon rolls came together beautifully, and baked up without any problems. A few minutes after they came out of the oven I glazed them with a little bit extra maple syrup before letting them cool completely. I frosted them with a simple melted butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar frosting that I just threw together without measuring anything, but any frosting at all will do. I think a cinnamon cream cheese frosting would be wonderful. Whatever you decide on for the frosting will be great, you really can't go wrong, just be sure to make these rolls!!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from 

Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) 100% pure pumpkin 

Filling 

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1-2 tablespoon flour

Directions

Scald the milk in the microwave by heating until almost boiling, then set aside and let cool until warm, but no longer hot. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook  attachment mix together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the egg, pumpkin and cooled milk. Knead on medium high speed until a smooth, supple dough forms, adding water a tablespoon at a time as needed, about 6-8 minutes. 

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Make the filling: melt butter in the microwave. Mix in the maple syrup. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Set aside. 

Transfer dough to a counter lightly dusted with flour. Roll dough out into a large rectangle (about 16x10 inches). Sprinkle filling evenly over the dough and then roll it up jelly roll style (if you want a little more filling, either double the recipe or sprinkle the dough with a little more cinnamon and brown sugar). Cut the log into 10-12 even slices and place cut side down into a greased baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Alternatively, immediately placed in the fridge and let rise overnight. In the morning remove from the fridge and let warm to room temperature, 30-45 minutes before proceeding. 

Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool until slightly 

Bridal Brunch

I love parties, especially parties that involve good food, so when I had the opportunity to throw a bridal shower for my cousin, I knew that I would be spending a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare for it. Since I absolutely love baking and eating baked goods, I knew I wanted the shower to include brunch, because at what other time of day can you stuff yourself with baked goods and not feel guilty about it? I did manage to throw a few (slightly) more healthy options into the mix, but my the baked goods are still my favorite! Lara and I started preparing the food several days in advance, so on the morning of the shower all that was really left to do was bake up a few goodies. In the end, the shower went super well and I had a lot of fun with it, both preparing and hosting. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food (thank goodness!) and there was plenty for everyone. All in all, it turned out great; I can't wait to do it again!

Bridal Brunch Menu
Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
Sausage Gouda Quiche
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini Coffee Break Muffins
Vanilla Cream Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Homemade Yogurt
Granola Bites
Fresh Fruit: Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Grapes
Drinks: Coffee, Water, Orange Juice

Favors:
Frosted Sugar Cookies

Here are just a few pictures of the shower and the shower prep

 Preparing the favors well in advance, the first day of decorating

 Monogrammed cookies for Bailey and Chris

 And some flowers, because I like flowers

Finished them off with a cute border

 Some close ups of the foods, here are the quiche

 This was my favorite, it was very cheesy, sorry if anyone doesn't like cheese as much as me!

 This was yummy too!

 Gotta have the homemade cinnamon rolls

 Mini muffins, for a quick bite

Yogurt and fruit

The whole spread

 With the bakers

The beautiful bride to be with a 

homemade cookbook from her favorite cousins :)

And don't forget a cookie when you leave!